Community People Sports

North End’s Maria Arabatzis to Run Boston Marathon for St. Francis House

Race to the Finish Line is an opportunity to cheer on and support five runners, including Maria Arabatzis of the North End of Boston, who will participate in the 2015 Boston Marathon on behalf of St. Francis House. The public is invited to this fun- and fund-raising event to help the team reach its ambitious $55,000 goal on Thursday, April 9th, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Lir on Boylston (upstairs), located at 903 Boylston Street in Boston. Tickets are $30 and include appetizers. A cash bar, and a chance to win raffle prizes such as Celtics and Red Sox tickets and entertainment gift cards, will also be available. Tickets can be obtained online at or by calling Janelle Coleman at 617-654-1219.

Running has been a family tradition for Maria for as long as she can remember. An avid runner since middle school, she says, “Running the Boston Marathon has been a goal of mine since I was in high school. When I heard about the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of St. Francis House, I was eager to raise money to help eliminate homelessness in my city. Homelessness is a social issue that I feel very strongly about, so this was a perfect way to couple these two passions.”

Maria, who has a MBA from Clark University, is no stranger to advocating for a greater good, working full-time as a Portfolio Manager for a Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management in the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) space. “Our investment and research process holds companies accountable for the social footprint and sustainability of their products and services, alongside being financially sound,” says Maria.

Hard work and moving forward are themes she echoes while reflecting on advice she might give to a guest turning to St. Francis House for help. “Take every step in your journey deliberately and at your own pace. Everyone is shaped by their past, but with the help you receive at St. Francis House; you will have the opportunity to mold your future. Look for the tiny victories each and every day, and you will get where you are trying to go.”

“Running has taught me that if you set your sights on a goal and find a deliberate path to get there, it is possible, one small step at a time,” says Maria. This is the same advice Maria will remember throughout her journey training for the 26.2 miles she will run on April 20th.

The other four runners are Mary Collins of Marlborough, Jennifer Nodelman of Attleboro, and Colby and Evangeline Smidt of Salem. Every stride these dedicated volunteers take in the 26.2-mile April 20th marathon will help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Boston.

Those who wish to contribute but are unable to attend the Race to the Finish Line event are invited to make a donation online or to mail a check earmarked for the Boston Marathon team to St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116.

Founded in 1984 by the Franciscans, St. Francis House is a nonprofit and nonsectarian comprehensive day shelter providing rehabilitative and housing programs for poor and homeless men and women. Located in the heart of downtown Boston, St. Francis House supports over 500-600 poor and homeless people each day and serves up to 800 meals a day, 365 days a year. It is the largest day shelter in the Commonwealth.